Friday, August 7, 2020

Balthazar's Bane by Kat Ross - Book Tour & Review + Giveaway

Balthazar’s Bane

Kat Ross
(Gaslamp Gothic, #6)
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: July 31st 2020
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Retelling

A bungled murder.

A ridiculous quest.

And a hero with extremely dodgy credentials.
Christmas 1889. Count Balthazar Jozsef Habsburg-Koháry tries to lead a simple life.
Oh, he enjoys a few hobbies.
Collecting ancient Egyptian artifacts. Hunting necromancers with a wire garrote. Impersonating dead Hungarian nobility. Seducing an endless string of women who never suspect the price of the count’s attentions.
But considering what Balthazar used to be like, these pursuits are harmless. And surely he deserves a reward for assassinating the elusive necromancer John Mortlake in the middle of Cairo’s teeming bazaar. What could be better than a holiday cruise up the Nile with his secretary Lucas Devereaux?
There’s just one thing that might ruin his mood.
If, for example, someone stole the talisman that’s kept him alive for two thousand years.
That would really suck.
Unfortunately for Balthazar, he just killed the wrong necromancer – one with a vengeful daughter and huge debts to some very shady djinn. To get his mojo back, he and Lucas must find a legendary sword and liberate a desert kingdom of magical misfits. For centuries, the people of Al Miraj have sought a valiant champion willing to face the wrath of the arch demon Fulad-zereh!
What they get is Balthazar.
But the gods always did like a good joke.

My Review
Balthazar's Bane is book six in the Gaslamp Gothic series. This one focuses on former necromancer Balthazar and his loyal companion Lucas. The pair are on a mission to take out John Mortlake, a necromancer Balthazar isn't fond of. But his murder doesn't go quite as planned, and it's this misstep that sets off the chain of events that play out throughout the rest of the book.
Balthazar convinces Lucas to take a Nile Cruise, mostly because of a woman who has caught his eye. Unfortunately, the woman is not who she claims, and things only get worse from there.
Kidnapped and brought to a hidden magical city, Balthazar realizes his only option is to take part in the Trials. Become champion, rescue a mythical sword, and save the town. Will he survive, or will he succumb to the horrible whims of the demon in charge of the Trials?
I really enjoyed this book. It gave off a sort of Rose Madder vibe closer to the end (at least that's how I viewed it). Balthazar was a bit smarmy and frustrating at times, while Lucas was devoted, loyal, and oh so stuffy. I loved him.
There was a lot going on. Once Balthazar and Lucas ended up in the city, and the Trials got underway, things got a bit out of control and crazy. Lots of violence and bloodshed.
I found myself rather invested in the outcome of the Trials, and the story overall. Everything leading up to the Trials was interesting, and kind of amusing, but from the Trials to the end, it was almost like a different book. It was intense and exciting.
Fans of paranormal fantasy with historical settings, and fans of the series, will find themselves sucked right in and highly invested in Balthazar's Bane. Check it out!
4.5 stars!

Author Bio:
Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She’s the author of the Fourth Element and Fourth Talisman fantasy series, the Gaslamp Gothic paranormal mysteries, and the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day. She loves myths, monsters and doomsday scenarios. Check out Kat’s Pinterest page for the people, places and things that inspire her books.


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